The West African Examination Council has announced the detection of 56 illicit website operators engaged in examination fraud during the current West African Senior School Certificate Examination for school candidates.
Mr. Patrick Areghan, the Head of the National Office of the Council, revealed this information during a monitoring visit to several schools in Lagos on Thursday.
Additionally, he stated that 20 school officials suspected of facilitating and promoting examination malpractice have been apprehended and handed over to the police.
“There have been issues like candidates copying in the examination hall, some examiners dictating or writing on the chalkboard for candidates, smuggling materials in and out of the hall, and other forms of collusion.
“But, most worrisome too, is the issue of rogue websites.
“Now, let me tell you confidently that so far, we have identified 56 of these rogue website operators and those who patronise them, and we are going to pick them up.
“The materials that candidates see on these rogue websites are all fake, as most times, the operators resort to photoshopping.
“ They can just superimpose 2023 on top of a paper of 2020 and use it to deceive them.
He stated, : By the time they get to the examination hall, they become blank, as everything will become strange to them.”
Areghan emphasized that the council has diligently documented the number of arrests made nationwide and remains committed to ensuring that justice prevails in each case. He highlighted the excellent collaborative efforts between the West African Examination Council and the Inspector-General of Police, as well as other military institutions in the country.
The WAEC head acknowledged that examination malpractice had been a longstanding issue in education globally. Still, it emphasized that this should not be an excuse for individuals to engage in such misconduct. He urged the Ministries of Education, governments, and schools to fulfill their responsibilities in safeguarding the education system from imminent deterioration.
“Governments should ensure that they provide teaching facilities, such as laboratories, libraries, and a host of others.
“They should also recruit adequate and qualified teachers and get these schools well monitored and supervised to ensure that the children are being taught well.
“The principals on the other hand must ensure that they maintain absolute discipline and also ensure that the teachers teach.
“They must also ensure that the syllabus is covered. Every school must have at least two copies of the WAEC syllabus and every teacher must have a copy.
“We even encourage candidates to buy their own copies so that they will know what they are supposed to be taught.’’
To parents, he advised, “Parents should get children equipped with necessary materials. “Get them books and encourage them to go to school. “Stop funding illegalities for them, especially by paying to get examination questions that are nonexistent. They must not be the ones to mislead and destroy the future of their children.
“It is time to sanitise the education system of this country.’’
He reiterated the importance of education.
“I have said it over and over again. Education is the bedrock of society.
“It is the vehicle to development.
“The quality of assessment in any nation determines the quality of education and the quality of education determines the level of development and the quality of that country,” he said.